THE BEST HIKING FOOTWEAR OF 2018
If you love the outdoors, walking, and being able to determine your pace, then this activity is for you! Whether you prefer short urban walks, rambling thru a neatly marked trail, tramping vigorously through the mountains, backpacking or bushwhacking over long distances, there are trails and paths for you and footwear to match.
Quality hiking footwear is essential to a great hiking experience. Your favorite running shoes or cotton socks may seem like good gear, but you want the right equipment to support you. You want comfort, protection from the elements, and value. At My Open Country, we’ll help take the guess work off your plate and help you decide what will best meet your needs. We recognize that there are many options, and the decision-making process can feel overwhelming. Taking a few minutes to find the right footwear will help you avoid blisters, broken toenails, and pain.
Hiking footwear comes in a variety of price ranges to suit all budgets, and come in a variety of styles from boots to trail runners to hiking shoes. Your preferred choice of footwear should depend on what level and type of hiking activity you plan to take on. The sooner you find the right hiking footwear, the sooner you can enjoy your next adventure!
Picking the right footwear is essential, but should be based upon your own personal requirements and preferences. We have ranked nine of the top hiking boots on the market in our review of the best hiking boots, to help you select the one that fits your needs best.
The Hanwag Tatra GTX is not only a quality men’s hiking boot but is reliable and comes with all of the essential hiking boot features like GORE-TEX waterproofing on a breathable leather, shock-absorbing design, and rubber toe caps. These boots run ½ size to 1 full size larger than similar boots, so plan accordingly. Hanwag also offers great options for women and has been producing outdoor footwear since 1921.
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, without sacrificing quality, check out the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX Hiking Boot. Salomon began producing outdoor gear in the French Alps in the late 1940s – so you know they take the outdoors seriously. These boots come with GORE-TEX and Salomon’s unique technology, such as 4D Chassis to give your feet protection, control, and comfort in addition to Contagrip.
Keen hiking footwear are great products without the high price tags. The Keen Targhee II GTX are made with a combination of quality materials, such as genuine leather, mesh, and nylon. So they are tough, protective, but also flexible and breathable. Keen is a newer company (established in 2013) and focuses on making a positive impact on the environment – meaning your purchase helps support and preserve the places where you like to hike.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little lighter in the weight department the consider either a pair of lightweight hiking shoes, or for super easy trail days, a pair of hiking sandals.
Socks are often overlooked when it comes to most sports and activities, but there’s a right sock for hiking, and we will help you narrow down your search. When making a hiking sock purchase, consider the following: you want socks that will fit comfortably with your new hiking boots, help protect your feet from the elements, and are synthetic or wool since cotton socks stay wet longer.
Darn Tough socks are among the highest rated hiking socks on the market, with a reasonable price tag. The average price is $20/pair. They’re durable, are unconditionally 100% guaranteed for life, and made in Vermont, USA. They come in different ankle lengths and colors, many with cute designs. We recommend this brand of sock for cool to cold weather hiking excursions, as we’ve found they can be a bit too warm on warm days.
For hiking socks that fit all budgets, consider the DG Hill Thermal Winter Hiking Crew Socks. These are not only perfect for cold conditions because of their heavy weight and 80% Merino wool, but they are very comfortable thanks to their combination of spandex and elastic in their design. DG Hill also offers socks in lighter weights for hiking in warmer weather.
A review of hiking socks would not be complete without mentioning People Socks. They’re made with premium Australian Merino Wool and are knitted in the USA. You’re advised to wash them inside out, and air dry them. This brand is a bit pricier, but worth the investment, especially if you’re an avid hiker. Unlike other hiking socks, People Socks are unisex.